My view on evolution has been evolving over time (pun intended). I initially thought Christianity and evolution were as compatible as the irresistible force and the immovable object, but now I believe they’re entirely compatible. I used to be extremely skeptical of evolution, now, I would say I find it plausible. I went from “How could any rational person believe this Darwin junk?” to “I’m still not sure, but I can definitely see why so many people believe it”. Might I be evolving into an Evolutionary Creationist? Maybe. Time will tell. Blame BioLogos. It’s their fault. ?
In any case, as I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to realize that not only could God have used evolution, but a slow and gradual process of creation over eons and eons is actually consistent with God’s modus operandi and if it’s possible that evolution could get the job done, it’s actually more probable that God would choose that method of creating over direct miraculous creation. Let me explain.
In The Bible, It Is Typical For God’s Plans To Take A Long Time To Come To Fruition
The Bible has several examples of God’s plans taking an incredibly long time (from a human perspective at least) to finally come to fruition. Think of how long it was between the time that God told Abraham that he would become the father of many nations and that his descendants would outnumber the stars (Genesis 17) to that promise actually coming to pass in the founding of the nation of Israel. Moses stated in Exodus 12:40-41 that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt 430 years. Moses himself was very old when God called him back into Egypt to lead the Israelites out of bondage. The text says he was 40 when he killed the Egyptian and then fled, and 40 years had passed between his fleeing to Egypt and his return to Egypt. Acts 7:23 says Moses was forty years old when he left Egypt and Acts 7:30 says that it was forty years later that the angel spoke to Moses through the burning bush. So Moses would have been eighty when God called him. The Israelites were in Egypt for four centuries before Moses was even born, and even when Moses was grown, it was still several decades before God even used him to free them! God’s plan of founding the nation of Israel wasn’t something that happened overnight, but it was a long and slow process.
The Israelites were held captive in Babylon for 70 years!
Think of how long it was for God to come die on the cross as our Savior between the time of the first human sin (Genesis 3) and the atonement (Matthew 27:32-56, Mark 15:21-38, Luke 23:26-49, and John 19:16-37). Depending on how you add up the genealogies, it was between 80,000 years and 4,000 years! Either way, it was a good bit of time between sin’s entrance into the world and the death of God The Son. God’s plan of salvation was thousands of years in the making. Jesus didn’t just come down immediately after Adam and Eve sinned and died for us. He waited 80,000-4000 years!
Or again; think of how long it’s been since the ascension of Christ and the second coming of Christ. Christ hasn’t returned yet even after 2,000 years! He may not even come for another 500 years for all we know!
God’s usual modus operandi is a slow, gradual process. We see this in several places in scripture.
At the 2017 BioLogos Conference, N.T Wright said this
“When we say that all things are made in and through and for Jesus the Messiah, this is the Jesus we must be talking about. There is no other. He is the same yesterday and today and forever. This means we should at least try to think what it might mean to say that this Jesus and this vision of the Kingdom is the lens through which we might understand creation itself. Instead of starting with a great act of creation, however we can conceive it, and then fitting Jesus somehow into it; saying he was somehow fit into it; saying he was somehow involved in it. We must somehow start with what we know of Jesus’ own vision of truth and the kingdom and power and ask what that might mean for creation itself. The results, I think, are striking.
To begin with, if creation comes through the kingdom bringing Jesus, we ought to expect it be like a seed growing secretly. That it would involve seed being sown in a prodigal fashion in which a lot went to waste, apparently, but other seed producing a great crop. We ought to expect that it be like a strange, slow process which might suddenly reach some kind of harvest. We ought to expect that it would involve some kind of overcoming of chaos. Above all, we ought to expect that it would be a work of utter, self-giving love. That the power which made the world, like the power which ultimately rescued the world, would be the power not of brute force, but of radical, outpoured generosity. We ought to expect, in other words, that the creation would not look like an oriental despot deciding to build a palace, and just throwing it up at speed, with his architects and builders cowering before him.”
– See more at: http://biologos.org/blogs/guest/nt-wright-if-creation-is-through-christ-evolution-is-what-you-would-expect#sthash.qwdadNx1.dpuf
Based on these two factors: God’s Slow-As-Molasses Modus Operandi, and the rarity of miracles, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if God used evolution to create all of life.